Three council members take the oath of office in Hannibal City Council chambers Tuesday evening. Fifth Ward councilman Colin Welch and Sixth Ward councilman Jeff Veach assumed the role for the first time. Councilwoman Melissa Cogdal has been representing the Third Ward since last fall.  Cogdal was appointed to the council after her predecessor resigned the position.  All three members won elections last month in their respective wards.

The first order of business for the new council sparked a lengthy debate.  Outgoing 5th Ward councilman Gordon Ipson presented a code amendment bill regarding unlicensed and disabled vehicles.  Ipson said several citizens expressed concerns that the current ordinance hampers car restoration projects.  He also said non-street legal race cars, etc. that are never licensed could also be in conflict with the current ordinance.

The proposed amendment involves a permitting process.  It would allow citizens restoring a vehicle to purchase a one-year permit for $5.  The second year the fee increases to $20 with proof of restoration progress required.  At the end of the second year, the permit could be renewed at the Building Inspector’s discretion, for a fee of $50.

Two members expressed opposition to the amendment.  Councilman Knickerbocker said the amendment was a leap backwards, and would be misused, resulting in a negative effect on property values.  Councilwoman Cogdal agreed, stating the bill has too many loopholes, making enforcement difficult.

Fourth Ward Councilman Jim VanHoose expressed a need for some revisions to the current ordinance.  He said he was looking out for the guy trying to get his car running to get to work, who needs more time—and money—to complete the repairs.

The amendment never received its scheduled first reading.  Councilman Knickerbocker made a motion to table the bill.  Councilman Veach seconded the motion.

In other business:

  • Fire Chief Sean Hampton told the council four members of his Swift Water Rescue Team were dispatched to southern Missouri to assist flood victims. Hampton said they took part in 20 evacuations and helped rescue a man clinging to a tree in rising flood waters.
  • John Lyng spoke about the need to enhance flood barriers in the downtown area. He urged the council to research more substantial reinforcement of levees rather than temporary measures employed when flooding is imminent.
  • Due to the departure of the current City Hall Custodian, the council approved converting the Park Custodian position to full time and adding the responsibility of cleaning city facilities to the job description.
  • Street closures are approved for:
  • Brookside Avenue near the high school  May 18 for HHS             Commencement.
  • North Main St. on Oct. 21/22 for the Folklife Festival.